34-year-old model Lyndsey Scott went viral recently when her “secret life” as a coder went public. The model walked in the 2009 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, was the first African American model to sign an exclusive contract with Calvin Klein, and has done runway shows for Vera Wang, DKNY, Baby Phat, Fendi, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, and sadly — but not unexpectedly — the internet’s hordes of fragile male users cannot comprehend that a beautiful supermodel could also know how to code.
When the Instagram account @Coding.Engineer featured Lyndsey in a post as a model who can “program code in Python, C++, Java, MIPS, and Objective-C,” a bunch of terrible commenters came out of the woodwork to shame her and deny her abilities.
“What a waste,” wrote one commenter. Others disparaged her and wrote disses along the lines of “Yeah she can write Hello World,” which is often considered a basic lesson for beginning coders according to Buzzfeed News.
Annoyed with the negative comments, Lyndsey jumped into the comment section herself and delivered the most epic clap-back.
“I have 27481 points on StackOverflow; I’m on the iOS tutorial team for RayWendelich.com; I’m the Lead iOS software engineer for @RallyBound…I have a Bachelor’s degree from Amherst where I double majored in computer science and theater, and I’m able to live my life doing everything I love,” she wrote.
She ended her comment with the very prescient: “Looking at these comments I wonder why 41% of women in technical careers drop out because of a hostile work environment. #gofigure.”
After her response, women flooded the comment section to thank her for her empowering words.
“Thank you all for the outpouring of positivity and support! But most of all, thanks for getting this discussion going,” she wrote on Instagram.
While we thought Lyndsey’s response was badass and women should never feel guilty listing their accomplishments, the multi-hyphenate took to Instagram to explain why she felt the need to defend herself when she “normally” tries to ignore internet trolls.
“I normally try to ignore negativity but decided to jump into the comment section of this one. Not trying to brag lol, just stating facts in the hope I’ll convince at least one negative commenter that programmers can come in all shapes, sizes, genders, races, etc. so they’ll think twice before doubting other women and girls they encounter in tech,” she wrote.
“Looking forward to the day when women in tech don’t have to go above and beyond to prove themselves,” she tweeted recently.
That being said, discrimination in STEM fields still exist and Lyndsey said the onus is on men to be more inclusive.
“Male programmers outnumber female programmers by about 5 to 1, so I think they have to take the lead in holding each other accountable,” she told Buzzfeed News.
After Lyndsey’s comment went viral, tons of women have been tweeting at her with their experiences in the STEM field.
“I’m in that world and it’s a struggle every day! I have 74 employees and only 2 of them are women,” wrote one Twitter user.
“Yesterday I had to tell a coworker that he can stop translating web development for me because I’ve been coding for years,” wrote another woman.
Lyndsey’s story seriously hit a nerve with a lot of individuals and even inspired this sarcastic Reddit thread: “Apparently, it’s impossible for women to be smart and beautiful at the same time.”
While the haters are up in arms, Lyndsey appears to be living her best life. She coded the RYSE UP music app from the comfort of her jacuzzi tub.
Lyndsey regularly flaunts her #remotelife lifestyle on Instagram where she codes from just about anywhere.
Lyndsey is still building apps, modeling, and acting and told Buzzfeed News that coding is allowing her to financially support herself while she pursues her other dreams.
Thank you Lyndsey for being an advocate for women in STEM and congrats on being able to pursue your many careers.